From a foreign land
TirueKene Yimtta 11-26-16
The recent devastating drought across Ethiopia was handled by the Ethiopian government and the international community, which has averted a catastrophic disaster. Thanks for the capacity developed; the Ethiopian government has saved the world from witnessing another hunger and famine that may have occurred in Ethiopia again. This showed the economic progress of the country to withstand such shock. The government of Ethiopia should be commended and our thanks go to the international community that helped for such human kindness.
Until very recently in the international media the news about Ethiopia was mainly economic growth and considered as one of the fast growing economy in the world and this has to be music for all Ethiopians, Ethiopian born and Ethiopian friends.
The recent development and news coming from Ethiopia is so saddening and depressing. Some folks are driven by entities residing in a foreign country and have become a pawn to fulfill their hidden agenda. This agents organized to destroy and burn investments and factories have made thousands fellow Ethiopians to loose their jobs. What a farce! What does this mean? The first to be blamed is the government of Ethiopia. Ethiopian forces leave alone keeping the people safe from terrorist and any threat be it internal or external is able to maintain peace in Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia. How come a bunch of hooligans are allowed to create such destruction and havoc? I think there is a huge dereliction of duty by the government and hope this will not be repeated.
The government should address the demand of the people in a well organized and appropriate fair and equitable response. During the Derg reign all the leadership specially the military was dominated by non-Tigray people and it will not be surprising for Tigray people to say that they are marginalized at that time and after the fall of Derg the reverse happened and the non Tigray people can say that we are marginalized. Both are not desired scenario in a multi- ethnic society where an equitable and just representation is badly needed. There is a grievance of ethnic preference and affiliated groups and individuals benefiting by exploiting this favoritism and should be corrected as soon as possible so that there will be no other protest by disgruntled citizens. If this not corrected on time the people will demand for their rights and not addressing such issue appropriately by the government will have a serious consequence.
Regarding higher education expansion in recent years is a commendable achievement and keep up doing the great work. Critics are always down playing the expansion and criticize on the quality and it is important to focus on that and the government also understands the shortcomings. You have to start from something and build on that. Years back Black Lion medical school professors where opposing the opening of Jimma Medical School because of poor quality, today the graduates of that school are practicing medicine here in US. The admission of students to these higher education schools are administrated by the Federal government and all Ethiopians from all regions are admitted to every University on a merit basis and that is fair and great practice and please keep it up. However after completing their studies it is fine, some students voluntarily go back to their region to serve, but most graduate should be assigned on merit basis in every federal and regional government not based from which region they came from but on their merit. In United states there is concept called Affirmative action this is a process for fair and just equitable way of providing benefit for its citizens. The government should give a guideline of the ethnic composition of any Federal or regional government work force should be, proportional to the ethnic composition of the population. Except political appointees any regional government be it Tigray, Amhara, or Oromo should have proportional ethnic composition work force proportional to the population. This should be the guideline of the federal government to demand each region to fulfill the diversity. This will provide an equitable and fair representation of citizens in all part of the nation. This guideline should also be applied to big private employers for fair and equitable representation of the work force representing each ethnic group. For instance a textile factory in Kombolcha opened by a foreign entity should higher TVT and technical school graduates on a merit basis from all over the county schools and fulfill the ethnic profile the government provide for the work force. The government can give tax incentives to offset for cost incurred for relocation and assimilation of employees. By doing so the equitable and fair benefit for all citizens can be maintained and the diversity also will be an asset. The ethnic diversity of the workforce in public or private sector should be maintained and the regional and federal government should collect data and make sure that the requirement is followed.
Any Ethiopian or Ethiopian origin living abroad has nothing to do with Ethiopia and should stop weeping a crocodile tears as if they are concerned citizen. Some of the Diaspora has the audacity to form a transition government after the recent incident and want to be in the leadership. Look at yourself first most of you are not Ethiopian citizen and if you are how can you consider yourself to be better prepared than the 90 million people residing in Ethiopia. Is not that an insult? Is that because you know how to apply for an asylum in a foreign county and that makes you a better leader? In what leadership have you been recently except collecting government assistance and conforming to rules and regulation to your adopted country and execute order and follow instructions, and if you do that honestly and correctly. You want to be the leader of Ethiopian people of course dream cannot be denied. Some of you have academic titles, god knows which school you went, non of you have any original invention or outstanding breakthrough, or working on life saving crucial discovery. If you are not one of these, Ethiopia has a bunch of the like of you and what makes you qualified to lead the nation?
Here are few points worth to mention so that we have an understanding. Ethiopia belongs only for the people living in Ethiopia. It is on the good will and grace of the Ethiopian people and the government for us the diaspora to be allowed to visit or stay in the county and contribute if we can.
In US and Europe money laundering is a serious issue and governments are very strict and control movement of money not to be used for terrorist activities. The Ethiopian government being fair and encouraging diaspora to invest in its birth county, by being too generous to accommodate goes extra mile to fulfill the needs of the diaspora. Some times it is surprising the treatment provided for the diaspora, even before the people living in Addis got plot, the diaspora was given plot and were able to build houses. There are prime places in Addis called like Virginia, Maryland … housing built by the diaspora residing in these states. By the way these fellow are the main financiers and activists for the recent havoc witnessed in Ethiopia. Let us not be mistaken and no jealousy for those who built, even would make every body happy if each one of them own a high rise building if it is used contributing for the development of the nation, but the government should be strict on money laundering and financing of terrorist with rent collected from its own backyard.
One rule the government should enforce is that all rent collected from any property be it a single house, or multi floor building by the diaspora residing out of the county should be deposited on a locked bank account except paying mortgage or support for an extended family. This money can be used when the diaspora comes to the country or want to reinvest it to any investment in the country. Since there is no way the money can be converted to foreign currency and remitted to the diaspora abroad the money has to be accounted and it is fair that the government track the money and this is legal in a sovereign country to trace movement of money. This should be one of the instruments to control money laundering against terrorist financing. Any time tax is collected from these properties the certificate of the deposit of the rent collection should be checked and monitored.
The other rule that should be enforced is, all diaspora who have lived out of the country, be it Ethiopian or Ethiopian origin should not be allowed to hold any public office in Ethiopia except Diplomats and may be UN or International organization office holders who were assigned to a post. The main reason is all diaspora living in an adopted county has lost its independence and molded by the society where he/she is living and by no means is on a leading or decision making position. Let alone the half baked so called intellectuals who spread venoms day and night on the diaspora media, name one Ethiopian diaspora who is in a leadership who makes his/her own decision on a daily basis. All follow instruction and execute and this erode decision-making leadership and makes him/her to be a follower. Also a neo-colonized mentality can also manifest. There is a derogatory word that comes if one show independence “SuckUp”.
In contrast the leadership in Ethiopia are decision makers and are independents and such, folks should not dilute the leadership with this mentioned mentality.
Here is the few manifestation of such trait. If the leadership of the country was handled by these half backed self calling intellectuals, for instance to provide efficient telecom service across the country no brainer the decision will be to allow foreign company to provide telecom service and problem solved. This is their day and night advice that the country need to implement. What they do not know is that US government does not allow no foreign telecomm company operate in its sovereign territory and there are more than seventeen powerful government institution like NSA, FBI and the likes of them monitor and control the private telephone companies to ensure the security of the citizens and the nation asset. All private companies such as At&T Verizon are all US owned and the same can be said for British Telecom, Vodafone , deutsche telekom, Tele Italia … .to mention a few. If the foreign telephone companies are allowed either MTN from South Africa or one from Middle east will be interested. How can one justify remittance of the proceed for a local call charging 0.75 a minute to be converted to a foreign currency from the limited country's foreign currency needed for essential imports. This is the wisdom of neoliberal trained pseudo intellectual’s solution. The same thing can be said for the banking industry.
All this protection for an infant growing economy is not achieved without a fight. The leadership of the country should be commended for their commitment to keep the interest of the nation and keep up the good work. Such policy and steadfastness should not be diluted by these traits. The independence is not achieved with out paying a price and fending tough struggle and arm-twisting by the rich and the powerful let alone the day and night mocking and the badgering of countless neo-liberal media and so called think tanks. The most powerful are the likes of world bank, IMF pushing the country to liberalize banking telephone company and even put condition for the nation to ascend to an international organization like world trade organization. It requires commitment and delicately handling enormous pressure and as the same time protect the interest of a nation and thanks for fighting for the people.
Building a green economy is not a luxury and a developing country excelling on such endeavor should be embraced and supported by the developed world but instead the badgering of endless non-scientific analysis by pseudo intellectual think tanks is flooding the news outlets unabated. Opposing Ethiopian hydroelectric developments the likes of GilGel Gibe III and now GERD is a daily fodder and despite all odds it is heartening to know the plan and execution of the projects are coming to fruition.
A wise leadership and the achievements of the development of the country should continue by addressing all the grievances raised by the citizens and the goal should be to enable an equal fair and equitable opportunity for all its citizens.